Gaza Update: OCHA - WHO - UNICEF
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Edited News | OCHA , WHO , UNICEF

Gaza Update: OCHA - WHO - UNICEF

With the escalation of hostilities in Khan Younis, thousands of Gazans have fled intense bombardment to seek refuge in the overcrowded southern city of Rafah which UN humanitarians called on Friday a “pressure cooker of despair with people living in the open”.

“I want to emphasize our deep concern about the escalation of hostilities in Khan Younis, which has resulted in an increase in the number of internally displaced people seeking refuge in Rafah,” said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that. “In recent days, thousands of Palestinians have continued to flee to the south, which is already hosting over half the Gaza's population of some 2.3 million people.”  

OCHA reported that Khan Younis has come increasingly under attack with reports of heavy fighting in the vicinity of Nasser and Al-Amal hospitals, jeopardizing the safety of medical staff, the wounded and the sick, as well as thousands of internally displaced persons seeking refuge.

“Our vehicles can hardly move simply because there are tents all over the place. So what I can say about that is we fear for what comes next,” said Mr. Laerke. “If we look at what has happened in the past when evacuation orders have been given, people move because of that. They also move because of the fighting moving closer. Then what? What happens next? Are they truly safe? No.”

According to the latest data of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), over 100,000 Gazans are either dead, injured, or missing and presumed dead as a result of bombing and fighting on the ground between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants.

The WHO further reported 27,019 fatalities of which 60 per cent are women and children.

The health agency raised concerns that “the lack of safety guarantees and humanitarian corridors in Gaza are making it increasingly challenging to safely and rapidly carry out humanitarian operations”. 

Speaking from Gaza, Dr. Ahmed Dahir, Head of WHO’s Gaza Sub-office, confirmed that the hostilities had intensified in Khan Younis. “We are seeing thousands of people moving toward Rafah. Families are being displaced, over and over. Many just moving with clothes and their bags sheltering in makeshift plastic tents which are not enough to keep them safe from the harsh weather.”

OCHA highlighted how agencies have struggled to respond amid ongoing hostilities. Over the last couple of days, they managed to distribute more than 1,000 family tents in Mawasi on the coast for Internally Displaced People (IDP) living in the open. Some 1,450 bedding items, including blankets, mattresses, mats and 1,100 clothing kits were distributed to IDPs in Rafah.

Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, reported that “at least 17,000 children in the Gaza Strip are unaccompanied or separated. Each one has a heartbreaking story of loss and grief,” said Jonathan Crickx, UNICEF’s Chief of Communication in the State of Palestine. “This figure corresponds to one per cent of the overall displaced population (of) 1.7 million people.”

Speaking from Jerusalem to journalists in Geneva, the UNICEF official described his meeting with children in Gaza earlier this week.

 “Of 12 children I met or interviewed, more than half of them had lost a family member in this war. Three had lost a parent, of which two had lost both their mother and their father. Behind each of these statistics, it's a child who is coming to terms with a horrible new reality.”

UNICEF fears that the situation of children who have lost their parents is much worse in the north and the centre of the Gaza Strip where access is extremely difficult.

Most of the children who experienced trauma are still in shock.

“Palestinian children's mental health is severely impacted. They present symptoms like extremely high levels of persistent anxiety, loss of appetite. They can't sleep. They have emotional outbursts, or they panic every time they hear a bombing,” said Mr. Crickx

Before the war, UNICEF estimated that more than 500,000 children were already in need of mental health and psychosocial support in the Gaza Strip. Today, UNICEF estimates that almost all children, more than one million, need psychosocial support.

-ends-

STORY: Gaza Update – OCHA, WHO, UNICEF

TRT: 3:02”

SOURCE: UNTV CH 

RESTRICTIONS: NONE 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS 

ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 

DATELINE: 2 February 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND 

  1. Exterior medium shot: UN flag alley  
  2. Wide shot: speakers at the press conference with journalists in press room
  3. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): “I want to emphasize our deep concern about the escalation of hostilities in Khan Younis, which has resulted in an increase in the number of internally displaced people seeking refuge in Rafah. In recent days, thousands of Palestinians have continued to flee to the south, which is already hosting over half the Gaza's population of some 2.3 million people.”
  4. Medium shot: press room with journalist and speaker on screen
  5. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): “It's like a pressure cooker of despair, people living in the open, in the street, you know. Our vehicles can hardly move simply because there are tents all over the place. So what I can say about that is we fear for what comes next. If we look at what has happened in the past when evacuation orders have been given, people move because of that. They also move because of the fighting moving closer. Then what? What happens next? Are they truly safe? No.”
  6. Wide shot: speakers at the podium
  7. SOUNDBITE (English) – Dr. Ahmed Dahir, Head of WHO’s Gaza Sub-office (from Gaza): “The hostilities have intensified in Khan Younis. We are seeing thousands of people moving toward Rafah. Families are being displaced, over and over. Many just moving with clothes and their bags, sheltering in makeshift plastic tents which are not enough to keep them safe from the harsh weather.”
  8. Wide shot: speaker at the podium with journalists in press room
  9. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jonathan Crickx, UNICEF’s Chief of Communication in the State of Palestine (from Jerusalem): “At least 17,000 children in the Gaza Strip are unaccompanied or separated. Each one has a heartbreaking story of loss and grief. This figure corresponds to one per cent of the overall displaced population (of) 1.7 million people.”
  10. Close up: journalist typing in laptop  
  11. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jonathan Crickx, UNICEF’s Chief of Communication in the State of Palestine (from Jerusalem): “Of 12 children I met or interviewed, more than half of them had lost a family member in this war. Three had lost a parent, of which two had lost both their mother and their father. Behind each of these statistics, it's a child who is coming to terms with a horrible new reality.”
  12. Wide shot, press briefing room with journalists and camerawoman
  13. SOUNDBITE (English) – Jonathan Crickx, UNICEF’s Chief of Communication in the State of Palestine (from Jerusalem): “Palestinian children's mental health is severely impacted. They present symptoms like extremely high levels of persistent anxiety, loss of appetite. They can't sleep. They have emotional outbursts, or they panic every time they hear a bombing.”
  14. Close up, journalist listening
  15. Close up, journalists listening
  16. Close up, journalist listening


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